Notre Dame “Fighting Irish” at #22/NR Purdue “Boilermakers”
Sept. 27, 2003 * Ross-Ade Stadium – West Lafayette, Ind.
? Notre Dame piled up a season-high 346 yards on offense. It’s the most yardage the Irish have amassed on offense since a 357-yard effort against Boston College on Nov. 2, 2002. It’s also the most passing yards for the Irish since Nov. 13, 1999, when they threw for 338 yards in a loss at Pittsburgh.
? Notre Dame’s 62 pass attempts were the second-most in school history, topped only by a 63-attempt performance at Purdue on Sept. 30, 1967.
? The Irish held Purdue to an opponent season-low 223 yards of total offense. That’s the fewest by a Notre Dame opponent since Rutgers managed just 176 yards on Nov. 23, 2002.
? Notre Dame registered a season-high five sacks today, after logging three all season prior to this afternoon’s game. In addition, Purdue had allowed just one sack in its first three games this season entering today’s action.
? Notre Dame held Purdue to 2 of 15 on third-down conversions today. In their first three games, Irish opponents were converting on 47 percent of their third-down attempts (24 of 51).
? Notre Dame’s lead in the all-time series with Purdue is cut to 49-24-2, including a 23-13-2 record in West Lafayette and a 17-11 mark at Ross-Ade Stadium. Purdue’s 24 series wins are the second-most by an Irish opponent in school history (USC – 27).
? Purdue takes home the Shillelagh Trophy for the 17th time in the 47-year history of the award.
? Purdue snaps a three-game losing streak to Notre Dame, carding its first victory over the Irish since a 28-23 triumph in 1999, also at Ross-Ade Stadium. It’s also the Boilermakers’ third win in their last 18 meetings with Notre Dame.
? Notre Dame loses its third consecutive game for the first time since a four-game losing streak in 2000-01 (loss to Oregon State in ’00 Fiesta Bowl; 0-3 start to ’01 season vs. Nebraska, Michigan State and Texas A&M).
? The Irish lose their fifth consecutive game away from home, their longest dry spell outside of Notre Dame Stadium since a similar five-game string in 2000-01 (’00 Fiesta Bowl vs. Oregon State; ’01 at Nebraska, Texas A&M, Boston College and Stanford).
? Notre Dame lost all three of its games against Big Ten teams this season, the first time that has happened since the 1999 season (also lost to Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue).
? Notre Dame has played more than three times as many games against Big Ten Conference opponents (327) as any other league, posting a 209-103-15 record against that circuit. The Pac-10 (110) and BIG EAST (108) are the only other conferences against whom the Irish have played at least 100 games.
? Dating back to the 1975 season, Notre Dame now is 17-7 when opening the game with a first-time starter at quarterback, including a 13-3 record since 1985.
? Brady Quinn was the first freshman quarterback to make his first career start for the Irish since Matt LoVecchio got the call against Stanford on Oct. 7, 2000. Quinn also was just the seventh freshman quarterback to make his initial start for the Irish in the last 53 seasons (1951-present), joining Ralph Guglielmi (1951), Blair Kiel (1980), Steve Beuerlein (1983), Kent Graham (1987), Paul Failla (1991) and LoVecchio in that elite club. Notre Dame now is 6-1 since 1951 when a freshman quarterback makes his first-ever start for the Irish.
? Quinn and Florida’s Chris Leak (who also made his debut today) were the third and fourth true freshmen in the nation to start a game at quarterback this season. The other rookies to start at quarterback this year were Houston’s Kevin Kolb and Georgia Tech’s Reggie Ball.
? Quinn threw an 85-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Maurice Stovall with 1:10 left in the second quarter. It was the third-longest pass play in school history and the longest since Nov. 7, 1981, when Blair Kiel hit Joe Howard with a 96-yard touchdown strike against Georgia Tech.
? Quinn wound up completing 29 of 59 passes for 297 yards with one touchdown and four interceptions. It’s the most yards passing by an Irish quarterback in his debut game since Terry Hanratty threw for 304 yards against Purdue on Sept. 24, 1966. It’s also the most yards passing by an Irish freshman in his first start in the last 53 years. Prior to today’s game, the most yards passing by a Notre Dame freshman quarterback in his first start since 1951 was a 133-yard effort by Steve Beuerlein at Colorado on Oct. 1, 1983.
? Quinn’s 29 completions are the most by a Notre Dame quarterback since Ron Powlus was 31 of 43 for 293 yards at Purdue on Sept. 13, 1997.
? Quinn’s 59 pass attempts are the second-most ever by a Notre Dame quarterback, topped only by Terry Hanratty’s record of 63 attempts at Purdue on Sept. 30, 1967.
? Quinn’s 297 yards passing are the most by an Irish quarterback since Jarious Jackson threw for 317 yards at Pittsburgh on Nov. 13, 1999.
? Quinn also threw four interceptions, the most by an Irish quarterback in one game since Ron Powlus threw four picks at Michigan State on Sept. 17, 1994.
? Stovall set new career highs with nine catches and 171 yards, the most receiving yards by a Notre Dame pass catcher since Bobby Brown had 12 receptions for 208 yards at Pittsburgh on Nov. 13, 1999. Stovall also is the second Irish wideout in as many weeks to go over 100 yards receiving in a game (Rhema McKnight had 104 yards last week vs. Michigan State).
? Senior wide receiver Omar Jenkins tied his career high with five receptions today. He had five catches twice before, most recently against Washington State earlier this year.
? Freshman wide receiver Jeff Samardzija caught a season-high four passes for 18 yards today. He previously had one reception in each of Notre Dame’s first three games.
? Junior wideout Matt Shelton caught the second pass of his career, a nine-yard grab in the fourth quarter. Shelton’s other reception was an 18-yard catch vs. Rutgers on Nov. 23, 2002.
? Sophomore running back Jeff Jenkins caught his first career pass, a seven-yard pluck in the fourth quarter.
? Notre Dame senior kicker Nicholas Setta converted his only PAT kick today, extending his streak to 91 in a row, the second-longest string in school history. Craig Hentrich still owns the school record with 136 consecutive PAT conversions from 1989-92. Setta’s last missed PAT kick came on Oct. 7, 2000, when Stanford blocked his second-quarter attempt.
? Setta is 9 for 10 on field goals this season, including a perfect 7 for 7 inside of 40 yards. He ranks second on Notre Dame’s career field goal list with 46 treys, five short of John Carney’s school record of 51 field goals from 1984-86. Setta also is second on the Irish career field goal attempt chart with 66, three behind Carney’s standard of 69.
? Senior Julius Jones returned three kickoffs for 40 yards this afternoon. Jones now has 67 career kickoff returns, two behind Tim Brown’s school record of 69, set from 1984-87. Jones also has 104 career kick returns, one behind Brown’s record of 105. In addition, Jones has 1,547 career kickoff return yards, 66 yards behind Brown’s school standard. And, Jones has 1,969 yards in total kick returns, trailing Brown’s record by 120 yards.
? Senior Vontez Duff returned five punts for 25 yards in today’s game. He now has 96 total kick returns (punts and kickoffs) in his career and moves into a tie with Frank Carideo (1928-30) for third place in school history.
? Senior outside linebacker Derek Curry logged a career-best two sacks for 14 yards today. He had four career sacks entering this afternoon’s contest.
? Senior inside linebacker Courtney Watson has logged double-digit tackles in his last three games, carding a team-high 11 stops today. He has a team-best 35 tackles this season.
? Junior free safety Quentin Burrell recorded a career-high five tackles, surpassing his previous best of four stops last week vs. Michigan State.
? For the second consecutive season, and just the third time in the 115-year history of Notre Dame football, the Irish are selecting captains on a game-by-game basis. Today’s Irish captains were: CB Vontez Duff, SS Glenn Earl, WR Omar Jenkins and LT Jim Molinaro. All four men are serving as captains for the second time this season, having also been chosen as captains for the Washington State game. It’s the fourth time in Duff’s career he has been picked as a game captain, while Earl is a three-time captain. Both Jenkins and Molinaro served as captains for the second time in their careers.
? Purdue won the toss and deferred its choice to the second half. Notre Dame elected to receive, while the Boilermakers chose to defend the South goal.
? Today’s game marked the 154th sellout in the last 177 games and the 18th consecutive sellout involving Notre Dame. That stretch includes the first 10 games of 1998, the first 11 in ’99, the first five in ’00, the first nine in ’01, all 13 in ’02 and the first four in ’03.
? Counting postseason play, Notre Dame has now had its last 128 games televised on one of four networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, ESPN), a stretch going back more than 10 full seasons. The last time the Irish didn’t appear on one of those four networks was Oct. 31, 1992, when they defeated Navy, 38-7, at Giants Stadium. That game was only shown locally in South Bend on WNDU-TV.
? Today’s Notre Dame-Purdue game marked the 16th time in the last 17 meetings and the 22nd time in the last 25 clashes that at least one of the two combatants has been ranked.